Ill. AG's synthetic drug bill advances

Bryan Cohen Feb. 24, 2012, 1:47am


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a unanimous decision on Thursday by the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee to send an amendment to the full House to address the synthetic drug epidemic.

The amendment to the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, known as House Bill 5233, was crafted by Madigan's office. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Jerry Costello II and defines a synthetic drug product as one that contains a controlled substance that is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The bill would make it illegal under the act to falsely advertise or sell these synthetic drug products.

"Drug makers' continued attempts to sell synthetic drugs jeopardize the lives of teens and young adults," Madigan said. "This bill recognizes that chemicals sold to be taken as drugs, regardless of what they're called or their bogus labeling, are life threatening and illegal."

In addition, the bill would criminalize the distribution of or possession with intent to distribute a synthetic drug product or drug with a misleading and false label as a Class 2 felony, or a Class 1 felony when in conjunction with other violations. The bill would add pentedrone, a substance used in some bath salts that mimics the effects of cocaine, to the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances and would criminalize the false advertisement of a synthetic drug product as a Class 3 felony.

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